A dental practice on the edge of Norwich has applied to expand into the neighbouring property as part of its bid to cope with "increasing demand".

Friends Dental Practice, in Wroxham Road, Sprowston, is hoping to take over the building next door - number 183 - to "provide much needed improvements" to its facilities. 

This would include increased capacity for both NHS and private dental treatment.

Norwich Evening News: Plans for the expansionPlans for the expansion (Image: Broadland District Council)

The dental practice is planning to double its existing on-site car parking and remove one access route off Wroxham Road. 

A planning statement submitted to Broadland District Council said this "should alleviate concerns of immediate neighbours".

READ MORE: Flooding concerns holding up controversial housing plans

Early plans show the extension would include a new waiting room and office on the ground floor, alongside staff facilities on the first floor.

Norwich Evening News: The surgery recently caused controversy over its noisy air conditioning unitsThe surgery recently caused controversy over its noisy air conditioning units (Image: Denise Bradley/Newsquest)

Friends Dental Practice was recently embroiled in a dispute with neighbours who complained about noise coming from air conditioning units on its new side extension.

The practice had a retrospective planning application turned down after next-door neighbours were supported by Sprowston Town Council and district councillor Natasha Harpley after pleading for help with the "huge intrusion" into their lives.

The neighbours said the units sounded "like a jet engine" and compared the noise to having a "refrigeration lorry parked in the passageway".

Dr Zain Shamoon, principal dentist at Friends Dental Practice, confirmed they have stopped using the units, and pledged to continue "positive engagement" with the local councils about any issues - with parking issues also proving contentious in the area.

READ MORE: UEA dental school calls backed by EVERY Norfolk MP

These air conditioning units would be moved to the back of number 183 as part of the proposed expansion - which the owners of the dental practice are "in the process of purchasing".

Norwich and Norfolk have been described by experts as "dental deserts" - with statistics revealing just one NHS dentist for every 2,600 people living in the region.

A 2022 report from the Association of Dental Groups (ADG) found just 36pc of adults had seen a dentist in the two years prior and a low percentage of children in the area had seen a dentist in the previous 12 months, at 34.9pc.